Rick Impallaria: “conservative voice of reason in Annapolis”

impallaria2

Delegate Rick Impallaria sent this email today under the subject line of “Annapolis Legislative Session Wrap-Up 2014″

April 2014

It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.  I am proud to be your conservative voice of reason in Annapolis.

Let me remind you of some major changes in election law.  The Maryland gubernatorial primary has been moved to June 24, with early voting at key locations starting Thursday, June 12, 2014 through Thursday, June 19, 2014 from 10 am until 8 pm.  If you need to vote by absentee ballot, your request must be received by the Board of Elections by Tuesday, June 17, 2014 if you want your ballot mailed or faxed. If you want to download an absentee ballot from the State’s website, you may do that until Friday, June 20, 2014.  The general election will be held on Nov. 4.

Now for a wrap-up of the 2014 Maryland General Assembly.  The Republican Caucus did bring the issue of legislator pay raises to a floor vote.  46 members of the Republican Caucus and 2 Democrats voted to debate the pay increase, but that motion was blocked by the overwhelming majority, who allowed the pay raise to go forward.  I am proud to say that I voted to stop the increase.  If there is a good side to it for the taxpayer, it is that the major part of the increase will go directly into the state pension fund to help backfill some of the money that the Governor stole from the pension fund to balance the budget.

I voted against the state operating budget because it increases spending over $10 billion from the administration’s first budget in 2007 (that’s a 37% increase over 8 years), and is $2 billion higher than last year.  The Governor is continuing his policy of irresponsibly growing our state’s debt.

The General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to support what is known as the “Bathroom” Bill, which will allow men or women to use rest room and shower facilities of the opposite sex if they feel at the time to be of the opposite sex.  This, despite the fact that their genitalia does not match the sign on the door.  I just can’t think of a nice way to describe such stupidity.  As crazy as this sounds, they insist that there will be protections for those people who are victims of the predators who will now be going into the rest rooms – as if that makes it OK.  Needless to say, I voted against it.

They have passed a school construction prevailing wage bill that will drive up the cost of new school construction.  They passed a higher minimum wage which even the federal government says will cause Maryland jobs to be lost and business to leave the state, thus making it even harder for young people to enter the work force.

The state has admitted that, after wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on Maryland’s version of Obamacare, they are scrapping it and contracting with the company that did Connecticut’s Obamacare website.  So, “if at first you don’t succeed, spend more money on a new way to fail.”

Now to issues that many people hoped to see some positive changes in.  Restoration of Second Amendment rights – no action taken.  Stopping or modifying Common Core at the state level – no action.  Repealing or reducing the rain tax – no action.

While I do not support speed cameras, the state has taken some action to cut down on the corruption in those programs.  In Harford County, part of which is in the 7th District, we have passed legislation to put vocational training back as a priority in our high schools – because college is not the only path to a good career.  While the state is constantly passing regulations they claim are important, even if only one life is saved, we have managed to pass legislation that can save a countless number of lives – mandatory CPR training for high school graduation.  Most of us thought that it was already mandatory, but it turned out not to be the case.

It would take too long to list the bad bills we did block this year, and even longer to talk about the good bills which were killed in committee.  Such was another long, hard-fought session in Annapolis.

If you have any questions, please contact me, Del. Pat McDonough or Del. Kathy Szeliga.

Sincerely yours,
Rick Impallaria
Delegate, District 7
Rick.Impallaria@house.state.md.us

I previously blogged about another Impallaria email.

Ethical problems for Senator Pinsky’s campaign website?

paul-pinsky

UPDATE: After this post originally appeared, an authority line was added to Pinsky’s website. The state office contact information remains on the campaign website, however.

Meet Senator Paul Pinsky, a union organizer for the Montgomery County Education Association, who has been in the State Senate since August 1994. In 1992, he received the Betty Tyler Award from Planned Parenthood. In 2011, Pinsky was arrested in a protest outside the White House. Earlier this year, he suggested taxes aren’t high enough in Maryland.

Pinsky has a Facebook page and a website for his campaign. The Facebook page does have an authority line, as required. However, I’ve looked all over the website and don’t see an authority line anywhere. Additionally, the website has his Annapolis office contact information (including his state email address) which appears to be another violation.

The website’s domain name is registered in Pinsky’s name (as opposed to a campaign organization) and lists the same Hyattsville address he used when he filed for office. The email address affiliated with the domain name is Pinsky’s work email address at the union (ppinsky@mcea.nea.org). Pinsky is a member of the field staff (a UniServ director) for the union and deals with members who work at high schools in Montgomery County.

Pinsky faces no primary opposition and his Republican opponent in November is Janice Fountaine.

Del. Donna Stifler’s last constituent email

stifler

I noted in October that Delegate Donna Stifler had announced she was not seeking re-election due to “her ongoing battle against fibromyalgia.”

As the legislative session comes to an end, Stifler sent out a farewell email to her constituents:

Dear Constituent:

It’s been an extreme and humbling honor to serve you for the last eight years.  I leave with hope that you will continue your loyalty and encouragement to whomever takes my place.  During these last two painful years, you have been nothing but gracious to me.  Even in our differences, you’ve shown me the utmost respect, and I am grateful.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Know that I will miss serving you.  But I’ll never forget the relationships my position has allowed me to forge.  I am better because of them all.

To you, I wish great success and goodness.  While I’m terribly sad to be leaving my job, my joy and peace come from working for the best group of Marylanders in the state.  God bless you mightily.

Your servant,

Delegate Donna Stifler

Harford County

District 35 A

VIDEO: Rep. Jeff Duncan on the 2nd Amendment

jeff-duncan-cspan

Congressman Jeff Duncan made a floor speech last week on the 2nd Amendment. In 2013, Duncan held a 2nd Amendment Listening Tour in the 3rd District of South Carolina.

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney – dead at the age of 93

mickey-rooney

Mickey Rooney, born Joseph Yule, Jr., has died at the age of 93. The above photo is one I took of Mr. Rooney at the 2008 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington.

Rooney served in World War II:

In 1944, Rooney entered military service. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service.

Report: MLS to add team in Atlanta

mls-logo

AJC.com

A Major League Soccer expansion franchise is coming to Atlanta.

An announcement is scheduled for April 16 in Atlanta, a person with knowledge of the situation said Sunday. The Atlanta team would become the 22nd franchise in MLS and would open play in 2017, which is also when the new $1 billion downtown stadium is scheduled to open.

The story goes on to report that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been pursuing a team in the pro soccer league. The stadium mentioned above is the new Falcons’ stadium. This would be the 22nd team in the MLS.

Currently, the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL play soccer in the Georgia capital.

VIDEO: Dan Bongino speaks at FreePAC Kentucky

bongino-freepac

FreePAC was held yesterday in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a national grassroots event sponsored by FreedomWorks.  Video of Dan Bongino’s speech is below.

Maryland residents distrust state government

md-trust

A Gallup poll conducted from June-December 2013 shows that Maryland comes in at 7th on the list of States With Lowest Trust in State Government. Only 49% of Maryland residents have a great deal or fair amount of trust in state government.

More details on the poll:

The results are based on a special 50-state Gallup poll conducted June-December 2013, including interviews with at least 600 residents in every state. This poll allows Gallup for the first time to report trust in state government at the state level. Gallup has previously measured Americans’ trust in their state governments on a national basis. The most recent national estimate, from September 2013, finds 62% of all Americans having a great deal or fair amount of trust in their state government.

[...]

Using Gallup’s 2013 data on state party affiliation, average trust in state government is 67% in solidly Republican or Republican-leaning states, 58% in competitive states, and 53% in solidly Democratic or Democratic-leaning states.

Maryland is below the average of trust in state government from the national estimate and below average in solidly Democratic states. Remember, the polling ended in December. More recent news related to state government could have caused this number to drop even more.

Taking a break from blogging

fishin

I’m taking a hiatus from blogging for a bit right now. I’ve cranked 0ut 109 posts in March so far after writing 74 in the whole month of February. In addition to getting a much-needed break, I have some other things I need to take care of now and a break from blogging will let me devote more time to those projects (some of which were precipitated by recent discoveries I made.)

Stay tuned, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be back before you know it (sooner if need be.)

Impallaria slams Smigiel; Smigiel fires back

impallaria

From Delegate Rick Impallaria’s Annapolis Update #3 sent via email on March 25, 2014:

With regard to gun legislation, Chairman Vallario of the House Judiciary Committee is holding all bills in the drawer, which means that the bills are being denied a committee vote. We need a new strategy for presenting gun legislation. Unfortunately, Delegate Smigiel has hijacked the issue from the body by prefiling bills. Bills may be filed before session begins (prefiling), and in our case here, when the bills are held in the drawer, other elected officials, both Democrat and Republican, are prevented from signing on in support. Next session, gun legislation needs to be put in by both Republicans and Democrats, and cosponsored by members of both parties if ever there is to be a hope of getting meaningful pro-Second Amendment legislation passed.

Delegate Michael Smigiel provided me the following statement in reply to Impallaria’s remarks:

Any statement that I prefiled all the gun bills is just flat out wrong. I prefiled 3 bills and there were 12 bills which were filed after the start of Session and had cosponsors including Democratic cosponsors.The bills were held in my office while we sent out e-mails to all the delegates giving them an opportunity to cosponsor the bills. In fact, any Delegate who came around to my office may have been given ideas for bills to put in as delegates from both parties did. Furthermore, anyone can work on 2nd Amendment issues throughout the interim and prepare any bills they wish. He did not choose to spend any time on the 2nd Amendment issues.

There is history between the two delegates.

In 2009, it was reported that:

Del. Michael Smigiel said recently that Del. Rick Impallaria suggested that he ignore a subpoena at a court hearing earlier this month.

There was a lawsuit against Impallaria by Irwin Kramer, who said Impallaria “owed nearly $16,000 in back legal fees for his  [Kramer's] representation of a group known as Democrats for Responsive Government.”

More from the court hearing in the article:

Under oath, Smigiel told Murphy that during that phone call Impallaria told him, ” ‘It would be better if you didn’t show up. It’s going to get ugly. I’d hate to be working against you in the next election.’ ”

Smigiel said in court that he told Impallaria that as an attorney and officer of the court he was required to honor the subpoena.

Smigiel testified that Impallaria then said, ” ‘Well, maybe your memory could get bad.’ ”

The 2009 report, by Bryan Sears, says Impallaria didn’t testify and this lawyer didn’t address Smigiel’s remarks.

Impallaria’s past history of not getting along with others is mentioned as well in the article:

Impallaria has not been known for a light touch during his two terms in the House of Delegates. In 2004, he and Republican Del. Pat McDonough were accused of being involved in a yelling and shoving contest with several lobbyists who represent immigration organizations.

In February, Impallaria was ousted as vice chairman of the Harford County Delegation. That vote had been preceded by a profanity-laced tirade from Impallaria aimed at fellow Republican Del. Donna Stiffler.

McDonough and Impallaria’s actions during the fight over HB 1513 are consistent with this behavior. Most recently, McDonough sent a bombastic email to the House GOP Caucus.